8th January 2024

Image by Stephen AdairThe Forest of Bowland National Landscape (formerly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and is marking the occasion with a brand-new photography exhibition alongside its annual Dark Skies Festival.

Covering 800 square kilometres (300 sq miles) of rural Lancashire and North Yorkshire, Bowland's distinctive landscape of high open fells, rich green lowlands and steep, wooded cloughs was recognised as being amongst the finest in the country and given its official status on 10th February 1964.

These qualities are encapsulated in Diamonds in the Landscape; a special exhibition of 30 images, all of which were chosen from entries submitted to the Forest of Bowland photography competition during autumn 2023.

From far-reaching moorland vistas and stunning wildlife shots to majestic woodlands and atmospheric pastoral scenes, the talented photographers have perfectly captured the variety and beauty of the Bowland landscape.

The exhibition will open at Clitheroe Castle Museum on the 10th of February and run until the 28th of April before moving to The Folly in Settle.

Clitheroe Castle Museum Manager, Claire Sutton, said:

Gisburn Forest by Robert Ince

From our vantage point above the town, we have fantastic views into the Forest of Bowland, both north and south. This is a place where you can feel connected to the countryside right on the doorstep, so we're very pleased to host the National Landscape's 60th anniversary exhibition in our Steward's Gallery this spring.

Hetty Byrne, Sustainable Tourism Officer with the Forest of Bowland National Landscape said:

This is a milestone year for us, and Clitheroe is a key gateway into the Forest of Bowland, so we're very excited to begin our new exhibition tour at the castle museum.  We hope the wonderful photos shared by competition entrants will inspire both residents and visitors to create some of their very own "diamond" Bowland moments over the coming year.

Saturday 10th February also sees the start of the annual Bowland Dark Skies Festival. With stargazing, photography tips, family crafts and a dark-skies inspired food tour on the menu this year, this week-long programme offers a touch of late winter sparkle and half-term fun. Events will be taking place both online and at venues across the National Landscape.

Opening times for Clitheroe Castle Museum are available at:, by calling 01200 424568 or by emailing

Booking information and full details of Bowland Dark Skies Festival are available on the Forest of Bowland National Landscape website at:

Bowland Dark Skies Festival 2024

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Traditional Boundaries Training

- 21st November 2023

All-Terrain Wheelchair Demo Day

- 20th September 2023

Tramper Taster Day

- 22nd August 2023

Pendle Peat & Pie Challenge

- 26th April 2023

New Bowland Visitor Guide

- 20th February 2023

The Festival Continues!

- 10th October 2022

Hay Time Gets Creative!

- 3rd August 2022


- 20th July 2022

Langden Intake Gravel

- 1st July 2022

Meadow Art Workshops

- 23rd May 2022

Discovering Wonderful Waxcaps

- 9th September 2021

Tramper Taster Day

- 8th September 2021

Visiting Bowland

- 14th June 2021

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- 13th April 2021

Meadow Makers Project

- 8th April 2021

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- 6th January 2021

COVID-19 Update

- 5th January 2021

Covid-19 Update

- 31st December 2020

Green Recovery Challenge Fund

- 10th December 2020

Bringing Home the Turf

- 7th December 2020

Let's Support Local This Christmas

- 26th November 2020

Photo Competition Winners

- 18th November 2020

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- 5th November 2020

Best of Bowland Photo Competition

- 12th October 2020

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- 26th August 2020

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- 10th August 2020

Days to Remember

- 31st July 2020

Coronavirus Update

- 6th June 2020

COVID-19 Update

- 20th March 2020

Hay Time Rescue - Project Summary

- 11th February 2020

Bowland Dark Skies Festival

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- 4th July 2019

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- 10th June 2019

Tramper Taster Day

- 15th May 2019

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- 24th January 2019

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- 17th October 2018

Traditional Boundaries Training

- 20th September 2018

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- 13th September 2018

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- 12th September 2018

Bowland by Night

- 3rd September 2018

Meadow Magic

- 18th June 2018

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- 15th May 2018

Bowland Wader Project Newsletter

- 22nd February 2018

Outstanding Week 2017

- 5th September 2017

Festival Bowland Fun in Autumn

- 22nd August 2017

Summer in Bowland

- 26th June 2017

Winter Hedge Laying Workshops

- 29th November 2016